PSF Facilitators

Poetas Sin Fronteras was the brainchild of Franko Munoz Ruiz, who wisely (or not, he’s still undecided) threw the idea at me and allowed me to run with it.

We came up with some bios, and we hope you enjoy getting to know a little more about us.

Sarah J. McNassar-Thiagarajan

An early reader of varied literary styles, Sarah began her writing journey at age 4 with short fiction (“The E.”), but segued into poetry by age 10. In Junior High, she came in second in a local youth poetry contest, with the poem “If I Were an Animal” (a work so hastily scribbled and trite it was agonizing for her to read.) In high school, she focused on both stylized and free-form poetry, mostly on the subject of Duran Duran and other boys in makeup. In college, she was a member of the poetry board for the Crosscurrents Review at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma Washington, wherein her writing was not only published but her skills were also put to use creating gentle rejection letters. From 1991-92, she headed the Kiss of Death Literary Society, whose members went on to varied careers ranging from the arts to activism, to Academia. She was also an active member of the Puget Sound Poetry Connection, which hosted open-mic readings in the Tacoma area. She has been published in two anthologies, Dark Orchid: Anthology of Erotica (Inkpot Press, 1993) and Datura: An Anthology of Esoteric Poesis (Scarlet Imprint Press, 2010). She has also ghost-written and/or edited several books and articles online. She is the author of hundreds of unpublished works and at least four poorly-maintained blogs. Her work can be found under many names, including Sadie J. McNassar, Dylan Bel (D.B.) Myrrha, Gori Chori, and The Freelance Dilettante (you are here.)  In her work as a professional writer, editor, theatre critic (Tacoma Reporter, 2004-2008) and teacher, Sarah has shared her love for the written word with people of all ages. Her interests and influences are quite diverse, and while she is honest, she has learned not to be mean.

Franko Munoz Ruiz

Since I was a kid I have had a keen interest for the written word. As soon as I learned to read, at the age of 4, I was reading my dad’s philosophy books. I started reading Marx, Mao Tse Tung and Mariátegui (Yes! Another lefty writer—Peruvian of course). I probably didn’t understand much (just nada) but I was fascinated by discovering new words and new worlds.

Growing up surrounded by books at the family’s bookstores in a medium-size Peruvian city, I had the opportunity to access different worlds without traveling. The power of reading: to visit as many places as you want without spending a penny and to get to know different realities from the comfort of your own house. Priceless! After I started elementary school, I started writing small pieces of poetry/short stories. I always had the need to express myself through the written word. I felt empowered by what I was reading and compelled to write what was going through my head.

When I was 11 years old, I discovered Cesar Vallejo, a Peruvian poet of the “Vanguardia” of the 20th Century. Vallejo has been a huge influence on my writing style.   Since Vallejo was from the Northern region of Peru, as I am, I was able to identify with him and understand his aesthetic and themes. His poetry exposes and tries to explain human nature and sorrows without resorting to any divine force. His poetry is bucolic, universal, and profound. Vallejo was influenced by the Nietzschean nihilism which later influenced me as well.

During my teen years, I participated in different contests in school and was published in the local newspapers. About the same time, I discovered another Latino-American writer: Nobel Prize Gabriel García Márquez, who introduced me into magical-realism and new way to see Latino-América.

Through time, writing became not only a passion, but a necessity. This passion would become my way to expunge my own demons: my catharsis. While I have published some of my writing on social networks, the personal nature of poetry leads me to reserve it for close friends. While I have written articles in other languages, I have only written poetry in Spanish, as I can express myself better in my native tongue. I am hoping that I can start a new journey with Poetas Sin Fronteras, writing poetry in a language other than Spanish.

I have studied five languages in addition to my mother tongue, and have published in Spanish, English and French. As I learn new ways to express myself, my passion for writing continues to grow.

Life is a poem! Life is poetry!

¡La vida es un poema! ¡La vida es poesía!

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